Introduction: Iranian Cuisine
Iranian cuisine is known for its rich and complex flavors that are often achieved through the use of a wide range of spices and condiments. The country’s cuisine is heavily influenced by its geography, with dishes varying from region to region. Iranian cuisine is also known for its emphasis on fresh ingredients, which are used to create a variety of sauces, dips, and dressings that are enjoyed with many dishes.
Tahini: Sesame Seed Paste
Tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds and is an essential ingredient in many Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines, including Iranian cuisine. In Iran, tahini is often used as a condiment, particularly with grilled meats or as a dip for vegetables. The paste has a nutty, slightly bitter flavor and a creamy texture that is perfect for adding depth and richness to a variety of dishes.
Doogh: Yogurt Drink
Doogh is a popular yogurt-based drink that is often enjoyed during the hot summer months in Iran. The drink is made by combining yogurt with water and flavored with mint, salt, and sometimes crushed ice. Doogh is a refreshing and cooling drink that is perfect for quenching thirst and is often served alongside spicy or heavy dishes to help balance out their flavors.
Sumac: Tart and Tangy
Sumac is a spice that is commonly used in Iranian cuisine to add a tart and tangy flavor to dishes. The spice is made from dried and ground sumac berries, which have a sour taste and are often used as a substitute for lemon juice in dishes. Sumac is often sprinkled on top of salads, meat dishes, and even rice to add a bright, citrusy flavor.
Advieh: Aromatic Spice Blend
Advieh is a spice blend that is used in many Iranian dishes to add a complex and aromatic flavor. The blend is made up of a variety of spices, including cinnamon, cardamom, cumin, and cloves, and is often used in stews, rice dishes, and meat dishes. The exact composition of advieh can vary depending on the region and the dish being prepared, but the blend is typically fragrant and flavorful.
Mast-o-Khiar: Cucumber Yogurt Dip
Mast-o-Khiar is a traditional Iranian dip made with yogurt, diced cucumbers, garlic, and dried mint. The dip is often served as an appetizer or alongside grilled meats and is a refreshing and cooling addition to any meal. Mast-o-Khiar is easy to make and is often served alongside other dips and sauces to create a variety of flavors and textures.